Ian’s birthday tour of UK’s cathedrals heads for home

Ian Toulson and bike outside St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire
Ian Toulson and bike outside St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire
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Most people celebrate their 70th birthday in a sedate fashion, but Ian Toulson is doing it with a 2,500 mile cycle ride.

Ian, from Walsham-le-Willows, is currently pedalling around Britain’s cathedrals to raise money for the village’s St Mary’s Church’s organ and fabric funds.

He is a veteran of the long distance fund-raising ride – his 2012 Kumffy Karsy Kwest for 3,000 miles along the rivers of Europe raised about £3,000 to improve the toilets at the village hall.

In a month he has cycled up to Elgin, in Scotland, and reached the most Westerly point of his ride, St David’s, on the Pembrokeshire coast. He is now on his way to Exeter and will return to Bury St Edmunds via Canterbury.

He said: “For much of the ride it has remained dry – only being soaked on two occasions – but the wind has been rather less kind, having only had any sort of wind assistance on a few occasions.”

Before he left he admitted Suffolk is not the best place to train for steep climbs but he reports: “As the ride has progressed I’ve found that I’m able to overcome most climbs and the one climb where I thought I might have to walk all the way up, the Cairn o’Mount, north of Brechin, saw me off the bike only twice and then only for a few yards.

“I now have a little less than 900 miles still to go and expect back in Bury St Edmunds, to visit the last cathedral on Tuesday May 30.”

He is publishing regular updates on his progress on his Ian’s Bike Rides Facebook page and you can download a sponsorship form at https://www.walsham-le-willows.org/ians-cathedrals-ride-day-32 where he is also posting updates.